Friday, June 19, 2009

TA100DIY, A Concept Realized, the world’s leading CRM (Customer Relation Management) system that we’re currently using, puts emphasize on “NO SOFTWARE” in their sales strategy.
No doubt, “NO SOFTWARE”, is more clear than if they were to use “Cloud Computing” technology term, which needs further elaboration and having no catchy punctual to actually ‘catch’ customers.

“No Software” is the fundamental
NO SOFTWARE. The same goes to TA100 DIY but it is not something related to “Cloud Computing”. TA100 DIY is simply NO SOFTWARE. It’s just like a smart phone; all the smart features are put together in one phone.

NO SOFTWARE. Offered at a competitive price yet loaded with superb features is what TA100 DIY all about; suits perfectly for SME and SMI.

“TCMS V2 is overtly too sophisticated for our small business. We only have a few staff, and we are not going to use some of the features. 'Overnight shift' for example, is of no use to us.” Commented some customers.

“TCMS V2 requires training. For small businesses that are tight in budget, they even want to save on small training fees.” Lamented some resellers.

TA100DIY, everything in one box
“Can we just sell the machine as cash-and-carry item and the customers do the rest by themselves?” Asked some idealistic resellers, a twinkle in their eyes.

Harder than we thought
When the first batch of TA100 DIY was introduced to the market a few months ago, some users started to rebuke, “I had to type long username to register users one by one with those small keypads. So inconvenience! The user has to punch some key first before they can put their finger, unlike the other models. No good too. The HTML reports have flaws, etc …” And the list extended.

And some users came back demanding us to ‘upgrade’ the DIY machine to become a normal machine with TCMS V2 software. We helped them downgraded the firmware, and we sent them TCMS V2 software (of course, with some charges involved).

The Will Lives On
But I did not back away from the lukewarm response, in fact I told my staff, the market has thousands times more small offices than large corporations or factories, and these offices will need time recorders to record their attendance. Simpler and cheaper Biometrics reader would suit their requirements better than the normal machine with software.

“If some percentage of these offices starting use our TA100 DIY, we will see much improvements in our sales.” I reiterated.

The R&D team later was instructed to gather customer’s feedbacks, refine the crude features, adding some new ones, and enhance the batch processing to import and export data and etc.

DIY is the Final Destination for TA100 DIY
For resellers, TA100 DIY can definitely help them to reduce training hours spent at end users. For tech-savvy end users, TA100 DIY should be a walk in the park. If you can operate your mobile phone, you can do TA100 DIY.

My aim is to make the DIY reader so simple, even housewives could use it in the house to check their husband’s IN and Out (go out and back home) movements. (And have records to prove it) :)

I bet on the DIY reader to be as successful as the rest of the models.

What’s next?
Of course, software will remain inevitable for all other FingerTec models including the ones we are going to produce in the future. We have also started the TCMS V2 web version development, which would involve cloud-computing technology, and eventually, our next milestone is to operate like

Stay tuned with FingerTec, interesting things keep happening.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

Thursday, June 4, 2009

DIY Concept on FingerTec

My 8 years old daughter offered her helping hands to assemble the DIY (Do-it-yourself) bookshelf that I bought from IKEA. I was amused to see her first labored up, later down to an Allen Key using her two tiny hands to tighten the screw to no avail.

IKEA, do-it-yourself home furnishings

At IKEA, you pay and transport bare skeleton furniture home and fix it on your own.  To make you do part of their jobs has eventually made IKEA the world’s largest furniture manufacturer.  It’s called “mass collaboration” (to make the website owner gets rich) in Web 2.0 term. :)

This is the power of DIY.  

Only by DIY, IKEA manages to flat-pack and save much of their transportation costs and warehouse space. In flat-pack, large percentage of IKEA items can be stuffed in a sedan and driven home by customers.

But when FingerTec adopts the DIY concept, neither we want to flatten FingerTec readers (simply because we can’t), nor shifting the installation, setup, training and all the technical supports from the resellers to end users.

Our DIY concept is to lower the technical barriers for resellers and customers.
For resellers, you have almost everything to market and support the products with ease using our online resources.  For end users, you would find a lot easier to adopt FingerTec in your daily operations.

Our DIY concept including of the following efforts:
1.    The hardware and software should be easy to use and free from technical glitches.  Our Product Development and Quality Control teams well understood this objective.

QC:Burning test for 7 days

Manuals & Video Guides to be packed into every individual product

2.     Step-by-step video guide with user manual for users.  To reduce training and support costs. Failure rate to adopt fingerprint device is lowered down to the minimum.

3.  Step-by-step video clips for hardware repair. Do not need to return the faulty machine to us; resellers DIY and save on transport cost.

4.   Localization. Have you ever seen any fingerprint products that provide standard local language? We have over 20 languages for hardware and 14 for software. Our sales team can speak 10 different languages.

5.   Marketing materials? Plenty in softcopies or hardcopies.  To help you to sell in no time. My Indonesian partner once told Norana, “I beat one veteran in fingerprint business by just showing the management a few FingerTec marketing videos without much talking, and I secured the project.”

6.     Training? Of course. Online. Most of our resellers worldwide self-trained by tapping on our training resources.

7.     Extended technical support to end-users.  Our system helps resellers to support end-users. Any technical query from users that write to will get our direct response within 24-hour, it is inconvenience to route them back to their vendor, unless specified so by certain resellers.  An end-user technical website is established for users to self-help themselves for any technical problems.

8.   We have designed and redesigned our packaging to reduce the packaging size and weight, to be environment-friendly and fit just fine to protect products and to save transportation cost. That’s IKEA! 

IKEA DIY concept is reversing a supposedly full-assembled furniture to bare bones in a smart way.  A lot of customers don’t mind the troubles; to them it’s fun to assemble a table or a chair.

But for Hi-tech equipment, it is no fun. The lesser you do, the more troubles customers have to bear. We have to shoulder them all to lower the threshold, to make the sophisticated products become simpler and easier to use.  And, it works! We have sold FingerTec products to clients in over 90 countries in the world, and far more than IKEA. (Revenue wise can’t be compared-lah. We are like toaster; they are apples. People eat apples everyday.)

This is the power of DIY.

Many may argue that FingerTec makes things easy, but not really DIY, and customers still have to engage installer or vendor to help them to get the machine up and running.

“Can I just buy FingerTec on the shelf and make it work on my own?”

I take the challenge from there and now TA100 DIY is the answer.

TA100DIY, the front page packaging design
(To be continued in my next article: “TA100 DIY, A Concept Realized”).

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ